Focus Fun September Week 1

Training Tip and image ..

first of month – challenge instead of topic

goal is 4 skill topics per week

Page LinksMonthly ChallengeLine-UpsRing-A-LingtitletitlePDF Files

Monthly Drill Progression

warm up drills

 

 

 

Questions? Ask DebbyQ

LINE-UP GAMES – Once my dog has learned a Line-Up, it’s MY job to keep them fun!  As a rule, use games at least seventy-five (75) percent of the time when training “Line-Ups”.   This rate of reinforcement will encourage your dog to “stay on his toes,” and “remain focused on you.”  The balance of games you use might change periodically.  How often you use games when training depends on your dog’s attitude, and desire to work or show.

Over time, the attitude your dog develops on Line-Ups, will carry over to the skill that follows.  When teaching a “Line-Up”, have your dog in a stand or sit, at your right or left side.  Use treats and toys to surprise and reward your dog!  Break into a game to motivate and compel your dog to pay close attention and be prepared to move.

What you will need
• Toys and treats.
• Leash.
• A dog eager to train.

Below are FUN games I use when teaching, or polishing my “Line-Ups” with my dogs.  When teaching and training, I randomly release and reward BEFORE my dog actually gets next to me and sits, or I release as we are moving to the position we will practice.  Mix up what you do to keep training interesting.  NOTE: These games can be done as you are moving to the spot where you will begin a skill, or as your dog is getting into a stationary position to sit/down/stand next to you.

Reward with a Spit OR Get OR Toy/Treat over your Head

  • Sit your dog on your right or left side, and quickly –
      • Spit a treat at him.
      • Drop a toy from under your arm or over your head.
      • Have your dog jump to get a treat or toy from your hand.

Through your legs    

  • Have your dog standing in front of you or at your right or left side.
  • Ask your dog to go through your legs, and up to either your right or left side.
  • Praise and reward with a toy or treat from the hand closest to your dog.

Unexpected commands

  • While practicing a “Line-Up”, suddenly ask for a skill your dog is not expecting.
  • The command can be any skill, or trick your dog knows and understands. Example, ask your dog for a line-up and as your dog gets next to you, ask your dog to spin or twirl.

Thumb Touch – hand touch

  • As my dog and I are moving towards where we will begin training, I ask for a Thumb Touch.
  • OR as my dog gets next to me to sit, I ask for a Thumb Touch.
  • Occasionally, I ask for multiple touches. :>)

PROBLEMS?

  • Your dog loses focus when lining-up on either your right or left side.  Practice the games, etc. BEFORE you ask your dog to sit. Make being next to you rewarding and fun.
  • When you ask your dog to do an unexpected trick or skill, he looks at you like you are nuts.  Hahaha.  This often happens.  While I am training my dogs and they do not do a command, I quickly push them out of the way a bit, and rib them saying something like “where were you?”  I accompany with loads of laughing and follow with a game of tug or the “KrazyKookie” Game.

COMMON ERRORS – Handlers Make

  • Advertising rewards or using lures.  Once your dog knows the skill, it is time to wean off any visible toys/treats.  Resist the temptation to grab a lure if your dog does not respond to a cue.
  • Excessive motion or torqueing upper body.  Shoulder wiggling or “sexy” shoulders, is when the person uses a lot of should cueing to get their dog into position.  While this is not necessarily a bad thing when lining up for Agility, it is when lining up for Obedience or Rally.  The “finish” in either sport resembles the line-up motion.  In the long run, extra movement of your shoulders will affect your “finish line”.  This is the line your dog sees on finishes and is covered at length in the “Fab Fronts and Finish” class.

Video Notes: Karrde and Sly are helping me demonstrate games in this video.  Karrde is just learning to add games to Line-Ups.  At the start, Karrde and I do a few rewards over my head and dropped down to him.  He loves toys, so this is a great reward for him.  At marker 0.56, I give Karrde a Thumb Touch signal that he does not respond to.  I give a negative marker to him and give him a chance at the skill again. Hahahaha.  He gives a lot more effort on the next signal and is rewarded.  At marker 1.13, I switch to line him on my right side, and he looks away.   The consequence is a tap on his head, verbal reward marker when he looks back to me.  Lastly, I ask Karrde to spin or twirl while he is on my side.  Actually, he has never done this combination of skills, but really does a great job.  I slow my signal down to help him understand the cue.  Note I do not put a lure in my hand.  I give Karrde time to understand and preform the skill and then reward him for his effort.

Sly is next in this video.  He is an old pro at these games and line-ups.  We start with the over the head game and then through my legs to line up on my right or left side.  In the last video, Sly and I do a few sit and spits and then a jump to hand.

Your Task for this Week 

 

BEFORE PROGRESSING, REVIEW YOUR CHECK LIST.

PDF

Questions? Ask DebbyQ

“When I warm up, he’s perfect, prancing, and happy.  We get in the ring and he goes flat.”
OR
“He is happy outside the ring, then goes into the ring and is a completely droopy dog.”

OR

“My dog LOVES the ring and tries to drag me inside when walking past!”   WHAT!  Yes, my dogs do.  :>)

Have you ever heard or said either of these statements?  There are a few factors that can play into this deterioration upon entering or being in the ring.

The number #1 problem is, the ring itself has become unpleasant for the dog.

Regardless of what created the issue, we need to have a plan to make the ring environment a fun and pleasant place for our dogs.  Many years ago, when I saw dogs stressing about the ring, I came up with a way to teach my dogs that the “ring” was a FUN place to be.

When a new dog comes into my life, one of the first things he will learn is that the ring is GREAT!  My ultimate goal with my dog is, if we pass a ring opening, my dog tries to go in.

When training a dog, and before showing, I want to make sure that my dog finds the “ring” a fun and happy environment.  While training, I take my dog into a ring set-up and play.  YES, PLAY!  Over time, the environment becomes so rewarding that my dog cannot wait to go in a ring.  Remember, my ultimate goal with my dog is, if we pass a ring opening, my dog tries to go in.  SEE the DIG tab for approaching opening drills. 

Let’s get to work on making the ring environment a FUN and HAPPY place for your dog.

What you need

  • A dog eager to train.
  • A leash.
  • High value treats and toys.
  • A ring type environment.  Rings gates if you have them, if not, use a tight location that will surround you on all sides.

Making a Ring Environment FUN!

NOTE: while moving on in training, randomly continue to reward while approaching an “opening”.

  • Have your dog on leash and on your right or left side.
  • Walk into the ring and immediately start to play and engage with your dog.
  • You can play tug or the KrazyKookie Game.
  • Move around the ring as you play getting close to the barriers.
  • Make mental notes of any areas your dog shows concern.  I.e. back to the barriers, side to barriers, etc.
  • Keep your session short.   1-2 minutes until your dog is LOVING the play session.
  • Move toward the opening, engaging all the way.
  • As you exit the ring, quietly talk to your dog keeping him engaged, but NO play or treats.
  • For this week, the fun ONLY happens when in the ring, and not for leaving the ring.
  • Do 3-6 sessions, ending with staying engaged with your dog back to his crate.
  • Continue to add NEW ring environments and setups as your dog begins to love this concept.  This will teach your dog to generalize the LOVE of the ring environment!

PROBLEMS?

  • Your dog goes into the ring and stresses. Use high value treats and toys.  Make sure your dog is hungry for treats and attention.  Keep your ring sessions short, 1-2 minutes, while your dog is building a positive association with the ring.

COMMON ERRORS – Handlers Make

  • Not utilizing the area.  When training, use the entire ring.  Especially near the gates.
  • Wanting to add training skills BEFORE enough desire and joy for the ring environment is built.   Make the ring FUN before you start to train or add skills into your training.
Doing what you LOVE is the best way to RELAX.

Video Notes: In this video, Karrde, Riker, Sly, and I are working on making the ring environment a FUN positive place to be.  Ring gates are set up to give each dog the “feel” of a close environment that is similar to a ring.  When teaching this concept, I will use a game/s my dog loves, and the highest value toys and treats.  Open leaving the ring, any interaction is calm, but focus is still required.  No reward other than praise is given once we exit the ring.  Over time, my dogs learn to want to be in the ring where FUN happens.

At the beginning of this video, Karrde is learning that the ring is fun.  While entering the ring, he glimpses away from me, and I tap him for the lapses of focus.  This is not a correction, rather a reminder of what he should be doing, watching me.  Karrde loves the ring and the play that comes with it.  We move around to work each area of the environment.  Once finished, he stays engaged and focused on me as we leave and go to his crate.  In the second part of Karrde’s video, we are working in an agility location.  Karrde is VERY driven for this environment and it will take additional training to get the focus I am looking for him to offer.  At the start of the session, if he offers focus going to the training area, I stop and reward him.  During this session, he offers spins in hopes of getting the reward.  When he loses focus, I use either taps or the U Missed It game.  At the end of the session, I attempt to get him to back out of the area.  This was too much to attempt during this session, but we ended on a good note.  Loads more work to do!

Sly is next in the video.  He has loads of experience doing this drill and LOVES being in the ring.  Sly gives awesome focus going into the ring.  Once inside, we play tug, and then the KrazyKookie game as we move around the area.   Before leaving, I give him extra treats and praise.  Sly remains engaged out of the ring and back to his crate.

At the end of the video, Riker is showing how he loves the ring and the fun associated with it.  He gives great focus while going through the opening and into the ring.  I drop a toy over my head as a reward for his focus.  While playing, we move around the ring to utilize the entire area.  Riker is doing so well, I decide to take him out of the ring and repeat the drill.  This time, Riker backs into the ring.  Again, we break into play once inside the ring.

 

Your Task for this Week 

 

BEFORE PROGRESSING, REVIEW YOUR CHECK LIST.

PDF

Questions? Ask DebbyQ

 

Your Task for this Week 

 

BEFORE PROGRESSING, REVIEW YOUR CHECK LIST.

PDF

Questions? Ask DebbyQ

Your Task for this Week 

 

BEFORE PROGRESSING, REVIEW YOUR CHECK LIST.

PDF

Questions? Ask DebbyQ

PDF Files useful for this week

Focus Fun A-Z 2023-Training-Log

 

Questions? Ask DebbyQ